Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Getting ready for school part 2: the "Schultuete"

It's getting ready for school week over here.

Someone pinch me, please. My son is starting school on Thursday.

This Thursday.

My son.

Going to school!

He's gotten so big lately. So grown-up. And he's not even six yet! Half a year ago I thought it would be difficult, sending him to school being one of the youngest in class. But he's made such giant leaps since then. He still doesn't listen, outs his tee on backwards most of the time and can't eat anything without having the entire floor covered in crumbs. But he's gotten so much more confident, even taking the lead and not caring much if the others are older than him. He's gotten better at drawing and crafting, he's got his letters straight and occasionally even remembers where he put his things.

Now, all kids in Germany get a "Schultüte" on their first day of elementary school. It's basically a giant, almost kid-sized cone-shaped thing, filled with candy and little gifts (for more details, see here). A photo of the proud new school kid complete with backpack and Schultüte is absolutely mandatory.

Now, there are really pretty versions you can buy. There are cheap and ugly versions you can buy. And then there are the ones you make yourself. Which can end up either pretty or ugly, depending on your talent.

And then there are preschool teachers. Leaving out these catalogs with all kinds of DIY sets at preschool. Of course the kids pick a design. So of course you end up making your own. In my case from a police helicopter set. And don't even get me started on having to hot glue this giant thing together or cutting out first the template, then tracing the template onto card stock and then cutting that out. Twice. Because little brother wanted one, too. You see, usually, the siblings get a silbling's version, meaning a smaller one. Just so they don't feel left out (and also so they don't fall over backwards trying to hold that giant monster). And of course little brother threw a major tantrum right there in preschool because he wanted just the same one. I did shorten his slightly though. But don't tell him.

Since we all know I don't do well with directions, I ditched the policeman template from the set and instead added some mug shots left over from getting the brothers' passports done a while ago. I think that makes up for a lot, even the crooked clouds and pencil marks left from tracing (yes, I know, you can place the template on the card stock backwards, then trace, cut out and turn back around. I did that the second time...).

Oh, and this is what's inside big brother's Schultüte:

Mostly small toys bought here and there, the DIY counting fish, a Playmobil beach volleyball set because for some reason big brother loved watching that during the Olympics, and a new lunchbox and water bottle I had printed with his name. And gummy bears of course. Nothing is ever complete without gummy bears.

So tell me, did you ever make or get a Schultüte? What was in it?



  1. I made them for my grandchildren on their first day of Kindergarten. Yours turned out beautiful.

  2. I had one on my first day of first grade in Berlin, many years ago. It was pink and shiny and gigantic. And I had a new pink backpack, pink pencil case, pink everything...and I rode my pink bike to school. :) I still remember that day. (Maybe the fact that I was 5 years old and spoke only English in an all-German school had something to do with it? But also the awesome first-day traditions!) I think Germans do school supplies and first days way better than Americans.
    I think your tuete looks amazing--and all the goodies inside!


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